Lydiard parkrun – Run Report – Beautiful but Challenging

We headed down to Lydiard parkrun, Swindon. This was for our letter L, some other challenges and shhh a sneaky prime number as it was event 617.

Lydiard parkrun

The Course at Lydiard parkrun

What is becoming increasingly important as we participate in parkrun tourism is knowing which shoes to take. Now this could be as simple as knowing how dirty they will get. However, our teen boys also have trail shoes so whether they are appropriate or not is also important. There is a nice spreadsheet called What Shoes Wednesday which is updated each week with reliable information too.

However, due to this shoe issue I read Never Imitate‘s blog and happened to stumble upon a YouTube video of the Lydiard parkrun course. There we could see that it was a 2 lap course and how it splits for the finish after the woods section. There is also signage there. Unfortunately, our youngest apparently didn’t see this sign and got a bit flustered. It really is very clear though.

This may be due to the fact that it wasn’t the flattest of courses. When the course description says “uphill” you know it is going to be fun! Though it didn’t have any steep hills at least.

Getting there and Facilities

Getting there was simple enough. There’s two car parks and we used the first. Parking charges were £2.10 for up to two hours. Alternatively you could stay until dusk for £4.40. Pay by phone location was 59282. We paid with cash.

Lydiard park parking charges and pay by phone location number

Lydiard park has toilets, a café and play areas. As well as lots of natural beauty.

The Briefing

First timers

It was great that there was a headset/microphone set up which meant the lady wearing it could be really easily heard. She called us all over for our first timers briefing. Unfortunately Simon doing the run briefing didn’t have one and was much harder to hear. He managed a great job though and had a nice map of the route!

Tokens are scanned back at the start. Here they have a numbered hook system for people to place their own tokens back in the correct order.

Lydiard parkrun finishing tokens board

Every week is pacer week at Lydiard parkrun. This helps everyone to line up in order of how fast they may go. Helping to spread out the bottle neck at the start.

Main

The main briefing was done with it though. The noise from people was so loud I couldn’t even hear if my headphones had been turned on or not! She told everyone to be quiet and that helped a lot. Although some pacers were still talking which is disappointing!

Amongst some of the things she mentioned was if spitting to watch where this was going. This apparently still needs some work nearer the front than I was.

Macmillan Cancer support at parkrun

Lydiard parkrun were also supporting Macmillan Cancer Support ahead of World Cancer Day. This is also a charity we are supporting at work. If you wish to find out how you can donate through us then please get in touch.

How we Got on at Lydiard parkrun

Lydiard parkrun was a beautiful and friendly event. It felt clear from the off that a lot of work had gone in to the set up so thank you to all the volunteers who made it happen.

Our Stats

Our 16 year old went out at the front and came in position 25 with a time of 21:47. Personally I think this is a true reflection of how the course was a little more challenging. Seeing as he had run at Hereford with having to retrieve his shoe twice, and ending with only one on in a time of 21:07.

When he finished they said Well done. This doesn’t actually happen to him very often so this was nice. He was also given a flyer for Newbury 10k.

Newbury 10k 2024

Our other teen still got well under a sub 30 but had decided to go well behind the 30 pacer (possibly behind the 35) at the start. As described it was quite a slow start and difficult to overtake at first. Both boys also knew they had a swimming gala later that day. We had also left the bottles of water in the car so 16 year old did not sprint finish.

Jeffing at Lydiard parkrun

For me there was a slow start. This felt like we moved from walking to running much quicker than some other parkruns. Due to this I did not feel I could just start walking; ignoring the walk alerts until after the first 800m. At that point I felt I would be a little less disruptive.

Quite early on a friendly voice asked me if I was running intervals and were really supportive. It was good to keep yo-yoing around the course. On walk breaks I even attempted a couple of photos!

Jeffing at Lydiard parkrun

The ratio I opted for was 60:30 and I feel this worked well with the amount of people but the fact that there was quite a bit of gradual incline. As well as the more obvious one.

Of course our speedy teen was waiting for me at the turn off near the end as you come out of the woods. He told me to sprint to the end. Despite my better judgement I listened and followed his advice. Not quite managing to keep the momentum at that pace until the very end. However, I did manage to not stop and walk and overtook a few people. Accidentally this gave me a position bingo that I didn’t already have.

Lydiard parkrun Stats

On Saturday 3rd February 2024 there were 386 participants at Lydiard parkrun. Their times ranged from 17:54 to 62:12 .There were 188 people who finished sub 30. The highest age-grade (76.48%) came from category male 45-49.

At that time the average finish time for Lydiard parkrun was 29:21. The course records were 17:07 for female, 15:07 for male and an age grade of 94.4% (in a time of 24:23).

The Ice House Lydiard park

Conclusion

Definitely a lovely place to visit. Not far from the shopping village (which yes has a McDonalds). Great for a challenge but not too challenging. Very well organised and friendly.

Nearby parkrun we have done: Quakers Walk (15.4m)

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